Smith Alumna Perishes in Haiti Earthquake
NORTHAMPTON, Mass.– As the search-and-rescue efforts continue in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, Smith College learned of an alumna who was reportedly killed while at work in the United Nations (U.N.) building when it collapsed.
Alumna Lisa Mbele-Mbong '93 grew up in Geneva and had worked in Haiti for a number of years as a human rights officer with the U.N. She died in the collapse of the human-rights section of the building that housed the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti's capital. At least 16 U.N. personnel were confirmed dead late Wednesday.
In addition to her parents, Helena and Samuel Mbele-Mbong, a sister, Leontyne Mbele-Mbong, she leaves her son, Nady, 10.
“Lisa was an incredible woman, strong and generous and dedicated,” said Anne Hornung-Soukup '74, a fellow Smith alum. “I will miss her greatly.”
At 12:15 p.m. Friday, Jan. 15, in Helen Hills Hills Chapel, Jennifer Walters, dean of religious life, will officiate a brief service of prayer and remembrance for Haiti and all those affected by the disaster.
At least one other alumna and several students are still trying to locate family members in the nation.
Although current Smith students were not in the nation at the time of the disaster, three students are in the Dominican Republic with Class Dean Erika Laquer as part of a program for her midwifery course.
Laquer and the students – Tamika Brinson, Charmaine Rivera, Cassaundra Smith – are all safe. They are volunteering in hospitals with expecting mothers through Projectos Adames.